Assistant Director, Breaking Barriers to Business


This is a full time, term-limited position through June 2026. The position is subject to renewal pending availability of appropriated funds.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone who is committed to racial justice and has deep understanding in managing solutions to the systemic barriers that entrepreneurs of color, living in southeastern cities, face when attempting to start, maintain and grow their businesses.

The Senior Associate will co-implement the B3 strategy and play a vital role in activating relationships with cross-sector stakeholders to promote the spread and adoption of promising practices.

In addition, central to this role is both the ability to collaborate with local leaders, entrepreneurs, community organizations, and most importantly, our partners at Main Street America in the implementation of the project. Internally, the Senior Associate will also work closely with the Assistant Director and the Senior Associate of Closing the Gaps’ Business Starts and Growth (BSG) Cohort to maintain aligned implementation tactics and drive progress towards our wealth-building pathway’s results. This position will report to the Assistant Director of Breaking Barriers to Business.

Primary functions may include:

  • Relationship Management
    • Serve as Living Cities’ liaison for B3 cohort business support agencies (BSA); including tracking updates on capital flows, narratives, policies, practices, and power shifts as it pertains to the BSA’s role in supporting entrepreneurs in commercial corridors of color. Specific responsibilities include:
      • Correspondence Management
      • Consultant Coordination
      • Work Plan Coordination
      • Grant Coordination
      • Reporting Management
      • Hosted and Non-Hosted Event Coordination
      • Results Management
    • Conduct applied research and analysis of how B3 portfolio cities are performing in comparison to Living Cities’ theory of change. Specific responsibilities include:
      • Collecting, monitoring, and analyzing impact data addressing systemic barriers in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
      • Depositing regular impact data into Salesforce.
      • Coordinating with Living Cities’ Member Engagement & Results team to reconcile impact data with Living Cities’ outcome goals.
  • Narrative Management
    • Share lessons through storytelling with mission-aligned local, state, regional, national cross-sector institutions and stakeholders (institutions and stakeholders). Specific responsibilities include:
      • Researching institutions and stakeholders who identify B3 portfolio cities as focus geographies.
      • Identifying opportunities to engage with institutions and stakeholders; including attending conferences, participating in workshops, exploring partnerships, etc.
      • Identifying relevant lessons to develop communication content for distribution to institutions and stakeholders.
      • Collaborate with Living Cities’ Impact Investment & City and Community Engagement teams to share lessons for partnered content.
      • Coordinate with Living Cities’ Communication & Narrative team to co-prepare communication content; including editorials, press releases, speaking engagements, and other relevant assets.


  • Equivalent of 5-7 years’ work experience in a related role or field, specifically urban planning, public policy, community development, racial justice, and/or social change work
  • Significant applicable work experience in:
    • Managing relationships with city government leaders as it relates to supporting entrepreneurs in commercial corridors of color in Southeast US cities
    • Capturing and synthesizing city government-level program performance measurement data
    • Identifying emerging opportunities to convey lessons through storytelling
  • Moderate applicable work experience in:
    • Anti-racism competencies, root cause analysis of racial disparities and results-based accountability (RBA)
    • Organizing city government-based groups
    • Facilitating large group discussions and decisions
  • Ability to travel (approximately 30% of the time)


· Bilingual (English and Spanish) preferred but not required

· Proficiency in project management, with a track record of developing and implementing new or improved systems and processes, achieving strong results while maintaining an inclusive, collaborative style; able to manage multiple priorities, connecting dots across projects and issue areas

· Strong in relationship management, including strong social listening to understand sentiment, needs, and questions of partners and stakeholders

· Ability to develop and maintain productive relationships across lines of difference and to serve as an organizational culture carrier

· Intellectually curious and creative problem solver exhibiting sound judgement and deep commitment and passion for Living Cities’ mission

· Strong strategic and analytical skills, combined with a high level of organization and attention to detail

· Demonstrated ability to synthesize and clearly communicate complex issues

· Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, with the expectation of delivering both formal and informal presentations to colleagues, partners, grantees, and funders

Racial Equity & Inclusion (REI)

· Foundational knowledge and core concepts

· Understands why racial equity is an integral part of Living Cities’ approach, inside and outside the organization

· Displays clear willingness to learn and apply REI history and concepts REI Practice and Analysis

· Engages with curiosity, humility and openness in discussions about race, equity and power inside and outside of the organization

· Understands how the construct of race has impacted the distribution of power and resources, and recognizes its impact on current and future outcomes across systems

· Applies REI to inform discussions and decision-making


$82,960 – $103,700 This is the minimum range for this position. Experience and locality are taken into consideration when determining a salary offer.




This job operates in a professional office environment.


Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Memphis, TN; Miami, FL; or Nashville, TN

This position is remote but may require travel to other cohort cities and our Washington, DC office.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

As much of our work is performed on a computer, the employee must be able to remain in a position that allows them to do so effectively. Additionally, they may require some movement around the office to access files or other equipment or technology. As collaboration and communication are a large part of our work, the employee must also be able to accurately exchange information in these situations, whether verbally or written.

We will work with each employee to provide reasonable accommodations as needed.


This is a full-time position.


Travel is primarily local during the business day, although some out-of-area and overnight travel may be expected.

About Living Cities

Founded in 1991, Living Cities is a collaborative of prominent foundations and financial institutions. We foster transformational relationships across sectors and connect leaders, stakeholders, and policy influencers committed to closing racial income and wealth gaps in America’s cities. We partner with cross-sector leaders in cities across the country to imagine and create an America in which all people are economically secure, building wealth, and living abundant, dignified, and connected lives. Our staff, investments, convenings, and networks support efforts that operationalize racial equity and inclusion in local government, create inclusive narratives, bring communities together to strategically address systemic racial inequities and build wealth among BIPOC communities through specific tactical pathways, i.e., entrepreneurship, homeownership, and access to capital.

As part of our initiative to support leaders from across the country in applying racial equity competencies to the development of anti-racist government policies, programs and practices, Living Cities has leveraged its track record of investing in and deepening our research on equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems and small business development, to create our Business Ownership wealth-building pathway.

Living Cities, with support of Truist Foundation and in collaboration with Main Street America, has launched the Breaking Barriers to Business initiative (B3). B3 is an initiative out of the Business Ownership wealth-building pathway with the goal of accelerating meaningful transformations in systems that pose disproportionate systemic barriers to entrepreneurs of color in the southeast region of the U.S., as well as expanding our efforts to use entrepreneurship as a pathway to closing racial income and wealth gaps.